Help with a band/spot on negative

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by michaelha, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Hello,

    I'm a new member that joined explicitly with the hope that someone in this awesome community might be able to help me out with an issue that I ran into last night. I developed a roll of Delta 400 from my Pentax 67 last night, and was disappointed to see a weird band/line on the left hand side of the frame in the best shot from the roll.

    Does anybody here have idea what this is, and if there is any way to fix it? For what it's worth, the band appears to be on the emulsion side, and not on the glossy side of the film (I already tried wiping it off on the glossy side to see if it was a mineral deposit and no luck).

    I suspect the issue isn't uneven development or insufficient agitation as I used rotary processing for this for both the development and fixing stages. I also don't think it's a mineral deposit because I use photo flo and a lot of distilled water for the final rinses before hanging (I rinse twice with distilled water before the photo flo step, when I again use distilled water).

    My best guess is that this is maybe the result of the negative drying unevenly and in such a way that that band appeared? I hang my negatives up to dry, and I think this negative was at the bottom of the roll, so any leftover water could have accumulated in this general area as the water droplets gradually moved down due to gravity.

    Will soaking and or re-washing the negative in the hope that re-softening then drying the emulsion again remove the line? I want to use this negative for darkroom prints, hence my desire to fix the negative if possible...

    Thanks in advance for anybody's help!

    Wilmarco Imaging likes this.
  2. Not sure but other members I'd say, could help you out with it

    It's a strange composition, is it a double exposure ? there's mist throughout the image, what was the mist? Oh ok, can make it out now, something floating with land and fog in the background. It's hard to say what caused the line but did you hang a weight on the bottom of the film while it was drying ? PhotoFlo would normally run to the bottom edge of the film with a weight, but without a weight and the tail end of the film curled up, the PhotoFlo could have accumulated on the image
    Wilmarco Imaging likes this.
  3. Thanks for the quick response. It’s not a double exposure- you figured it out. It’s a swim dock floating in calm waters with fog rising off the water in the background.

    I did put a weight onto the bottom of the film when it was drying, so the water should have collected at the bottom, below the emulsion of this last frame I think. The film was definitely perfectly straight and didn’t curl when it dried.
    Wilmarco Imaging likes this.
  4. Nice image.

    Looks like a drying mark. The mark impinges highlight and shadow areas on the negative and presents itself as density on the negative. To me this rules out processing errors such as agitation and chemical strength. Squeegeeing the negatives leads to fewer or no defects like this.
  5. I suspect you're right. Do you think that re-soaking the negative and re-drying it carefully could address the issue, or is it set in stone at this point?
  6. It can’t hurt to try it. If it were my film I would squeegee after re-washing.
  7. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    I think using a squeegee greatly increases the possibility of scratching the film.
    AJG likes this.
  8. Can we see another frame?
  9. For the last 25 or so years I have "misted" my hanging negatives that had a 3 minute photo-flo (Nikor tank DI water, 0.25ml Flo) bath. 2x both sides with a small pump mister. No drying marks & a vast reduction in "Lockness Monsters". Bill
  10. I would never squeegee film. Use the proper dilution of wash aid, re-wash and hang to dry.
  11. I have always squeegeed my film and never had a problem . . .
  12. I squeegeed once, 40 years ago. Followed the directions, wet the squeegee and it ripped the emulsion right off the film. It was Tri-X, too, not some cheap film. Never did it again.
  13. "I have always squeegeed my film and never had a problem . . ."

    - Then you've been very lucky!
    You might get away with it for a while with a brand new squeegee and extreme care with its cleanliness. But one day, one day.... that unseen bit of grit is going to draw a lovely black line right through the middle of the best negative on the roll. Almost guaranteed.

    To the OP: It's clearly a drying mark, and caused by hard water. Re-wash and use distilled or calgon-treated water, plus a tiny drop of wetting agent for the last bath.

    I suspect the OP must be new to film if they've not encountered a drying mark before. Welcome to the aggravating and luck-reliant world of film photography!
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
    michaelha likes this.
  14. A quick follow up on this issue- I re-soaked the negative in distilled water with photo flo and upon re-drying, the line appears to be gone! So that is fixed. Unfortunately, somehow there appears to be a small pin-sized hole in the sky now (an actual fleck of emulsion somehow is gone even though I was as careful as possible handling the negatives) that I will need to figure out how to prevent from manifesting in darkroom prints. Right now I'm thinking of getting some spotting dye and putting a tiny dot on the non emulsion side of the film, but if anybody has any better recommendations please let me know. Thanks again!
  15. Joe . . . Luck has nothing to do with it . . . Meticulously clean and careful with all of my material.

  16. Whatever works for you, but when you open a new squeegee out of the box, wet it with Photo-flo and it tears the emulsion off the film... I'll never use one again. But to each his own. I think it's an accident waiting to happen.
  17. Out of fashion now, but a hardening fixer or separate alum hardening bath helps to strengthen the emulsion.

    For some obscure reason, some divot invented 'alkali' fixer a few years ago. Now gelatine, which is a protein, has its structure expanded and weakened in alkaline solutions. This is necessary in a developer, but totally needless, pointless and downright risky in a fixer. Especially if followed by soft or softened warm wash water.

    OTOH, acid helps to contract and harden the gelatine emulsion.

    WRT having the emulsion strip from the base. That usually takes some doing! It generally needs soaking in a hot caustic solution to soften gelatine enough to completely remove it from its substrate.
  18. Look out some Tetenal spotting pens, I’ve used them for years, makes the job easy ( not that I get many spots, you understand)
  19. Or maybe even Loch Ness monsters!

Share This Page